Darren Harris (footballer, born 1968)
Darren Harris (born 18 July 1968) is a former Australian rules football coach and player, who spent significant parts of his career in the Australian Football League, West Australian Football League and Ovens & Murray Football League.
|Date of birth||18 July 1968|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2010.
Harris never played football at a national level, and his career at state level was short, but memorable. He played primarily as a rover/midfielder. From country Victoria, he played his early senior football for the Wodonga Bulldogs in the Ovens & Murray Football League, winning a premiership there in 1987.
Harris moved to Bendigo in 1988 to complete a degree in primary school teaching. During his three years in Bendigo, Harris played for Golden Square in the Bendigo Football League, winning premierships there in 1988 and 1989. He returned to Wodonga in 1991 and played one more season with the Bulldogs.
In 1992, Harris moved to Western Australia, and secured a contract to play with West Perth in the WAFL. Harris quickly became a star player at West Perth. In 1995, his best season for West Perth, Harris was club captain, won the Breckler Medal as best and fairest, captained the team to its first premiership since 1975, and won the Simpson Medal as best on ground in the team's 56-point Grand Final win over Subiaco. He captained the WAFL representative team in 1996, and was ultimately named in the West Perth Team of the Decade for 1994-2003. Harris played five seasons for West Perth before leaving at the end of 1996.
Following his departure from West Perth, Harris returned to Wodonga, where he signed up as playing-coach for the Wodonga Raiders in the Ovens & Murray Football League, the cross-town rivals to his former team. He coached at the Raiders for three seasons, winning the club's first Ovens & Murray Football League premiership in 1998. In 2000, Harris left the Raiders and took an assistant and development coaching role with the NSW/ACT Rams in the TAC Cup.
After the Rams left the TAC Cup at the end of 2001, Harris returned to West Perth and took on the senior coaching role. As coach, he took the Falcons to back-to-back Grand Finals in 2002 and 2003, winning the premiership in 2003 with a 23-point win against Subiaco. Harris coached four seasons at West Perth in total.
In 2006, Harris was recruited for the first time to the Australian Football League, taking an assistant coaching role at the West Coast Eagles. He held this role from 2006 until 2008, and was at the club for its 2006 premiership. Harris and the Eagles parted company mutually at the end of 2008 as Harris sought to return to Victoria.
In 2009, Harris became development manager at the Carlton Football Club, spending two years in this role, before becoming development coach and the senior coach of Carlton's VFL-affiliate club, the Northern Bullants, in 2011. He gave up the VFL coaching role at the end of the season 2011 to focus on the development role, but returned to the senior coaching role for the newly renamed Northern Blues after Robert Hyde stepped down from the role at midseason in 2012.
Harris left Carlton at the end of 2012, and returned to Western Australia to take up a position at leadership consulting firm Leading Teams. He coached the WAFL representative team in 2015 and 2016, despite not serving in a league coaching role at the time, then in 2017 Harris left Leading Teams to take the senior coaching role at Claremont.
- "Darren HARRIS (West Perth)". WAFLOnline. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Ryan, Nathan (29 May 2005). "Bush Footballers Head For Sun And Surf In West". The Sunday Age. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 11 Jun 2011.
- "West Perth Football Club Medallists". West Perth Football Club. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- The Wodonga Raiders had won several premierships under their previous name, the Wodonga Demons, while playing in the Tallangatta & District Football League, but had not won an Ovens & Murray Football League flag since switching leagues in 1987. "History". Wodonga Raiders. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Carlton appoints Harris as new Bullants coach". Australian Football League Coaches' Association. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Final siren for Harris at West Coast". The Border Mail. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Landsberger, Sam (5 October 2011). "Harris hops from the Ants to the Blues". Herald Sun. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- Amy, Paul; Landsberger, Sam (27 June 2012). "Northern Blues coach Robert Hyde walks out after 10 games". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Phelan, Jason (5 September 2012). "Blues assistant departs". Carlton Football Club. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "WAFL appoints 2016 Carlton Draught State coach". Western Australia Football. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- Dale Miller (17 March 2017). "New coach Darren Harris keen to guide rise of young Tigers". The West Australian. Perth, WA. Retrieved 5 September 2017.